In honor of the post-every-day week, which I have now dubbed: Week-Talk-A-Lot, today is about a woman who I have been familiar with for some time but who today has graciously stepped into my life. Mindy Kaling. I have watched her as Kelly Kapour on the television series, The Office, urge Pam to do a “fashion show at lunch” for years, but she is now becoming one of my “dream big” role models in life. She has now written this book:
And yes, the little girl in the first picture is Mindy.
After purchasing this book about three hours ago, I can recommend it with great confidence up to page 86 (which is only because I have not gotten any further yet). She writes about the Senegalese jerk/kid in her school that teased her about her weight, karaoke etiquette, and her trials and successes in trying to achieve her dream of being a comedy writer. With short, hilarious essays she details the journey that has lead her to today, and as a girl trying to make it myself, I find it really inspiring. I am sure I am not alone.
I have learned many things about myself from picking this book up today: 1) I most like to internalize advice from female comedians who have had shows on NBC (Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling) and 2) Reading these comedians memoirs makes me reflect on two very important questions: “What do I want to do? What do I want to say?”
In these important existential moments, it has become important for me to remember that two of the central things that I want to do are karaoke and dancing like Elaine on Seinfeld. Keeping it real. But I also want to dream big and attack those dreams. I want to dream so big and attack those dreams so ferociously that I have a crazy memoir to write about the journey.
One of my mentors, Gloria Feldt, just wrote a blog post about this SmartGirls blog, and it was a humbling experience. As a trail blazing, passionate leader she has helped thousands of women realize their power and potential through her leadership as president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, and then as the author of “No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power.” In a recent interview she answered the question, “What factors contributed most to your success?” She answered, “I was either dumb enough or lucky enough to say ‘Yes’ to almost every opportunity.”
Saying yes to every opportunity presented, and even saying yes to some opportunities that didn’t exist at the time, has allowed me to be around some incredible people and experience some life changing things over the past year. I’ve learned from Gloria that it is all about Power Tool #3 in her book: “Use what you’ve got; what you need is there if you can see it and have the wisdom to use it.” As women with big aspirations just like Mindy, Tina, or Gloria, we can use our dreams as our jumping off points; they are what we’ve got and it is up to us to try at every angle to make them happen, saying yes all along the way.